Safety fears over elite police officers drunk on duty at UK’s nuclear sites

 

Police officers with the elite force that guards Britain’s nuclear power stations have been caught drunk, using drugs, misusing firearms and also accused of sexual harassment and assault.

The offences by officers with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), released under the Freedom of Information Act, have raised concerns about the safety of the UK’s nuclear plants and radioactive material.

The CNC recently stepped up the number of officers guarding the Sellafield plant in Cumbria. The 1,000 officers in its workforce also protect highly radioactive material as it travels across the country. In one case, a police constable allegedly tested positive for cannabis at work. The matter was deemed so sensitive that the CNC refused to disclose the location or year the offence occurred, in case the identity of the officer could be traced.

Even after an internal review of the case, the date the officer resigned was deemed to constitute “personal data”, so it could not be released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The CNC would only report the officer “was immediately suspended pending gross misconduct investigation and resigned from the CNC prior to facing misconduct proceedings”.

In another case, one officer “made veiled attempts to induce an officer from another police force to cancel a fixed penalty notice for speeding”. That officer, who had a written warning, is still with the CNC. A licenced firearm officer was also found to have “lied regarding circumstances of accidental discharge of firearm on police premises”. The offence was deemed so severe the officer was dismissed.

Two other firearms officers have also been disciplined after they “attended a training course smelling of alcohol”. They remain with the force. One officer also received a final written warning for “unwanted and inappropriate advances towards an officer of the opposite sex”, while another was warned about using sexist language.

The CNC says on its website it is “proud to be a part of the security structure which defends the nation”.It is run by Michael Griffiths CBE, a retired Army Brigadier, who saw active service in the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

However, such is the array of serious misdemeanours by the CNC officers– who are funded directly by the energy companies – that it raises grave concerns about the safety of the UK’S nuclear power plants. Paul Flynn MP said: “The UK sent 441 of our soldiers to die in Afghanistan to protect us from alleged terrorist threats to the UK, Nuclear installation are the prime nightmare targets that could create mass devastation. This evidence suggests sacrifices abroad but woefully weak protection standards at home.”

Robin Oakley, Campaigns Director for Greenpeace UK, said: “This deeply worrying catalogue of misdemeanours is a reminder that nuclear reactors will always be vulnerable to human mistakes and irresponsibility. If the people supposed to protect us from probably the highest level of nuclear risk don’t take safety seriously, what confidence can we have in the rest of the nuclear industry’s operations?”

Off duty offences ranged from being drunk and disorderly in a public place to minor public order offences and common assault. The incidents listed also included those which occurred on duty, as well as on and off site. Those on site were dealt with by the CNC, who either dismissed the officers for serious offences or gave warnings. Off-site offences led to police cautions. The CNC was unavailable for comment.

News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention